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Your Complete Super Bowl XLVI Guide: The Game, Ads, Bets, Anthem, Halftime & More

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Slade Sohmer

By Slade Sohmer on February 3, 2012

“Pressure from Thomas off the edge…Eli Manning stays on his feet…airs it out DOWN THE FIELD…it is caught by Tyree…inside the 25…and a timeout taken.” —Joe Buck, Super Bowl XLII

It took a 31-yard overtime field goal from Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes and a 32-yard last-second hook from Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff, but the Super Bowl XLII rematch is coming this Sunday.

It’ll be the New York Football Giants and the New England Patriots. Hopefully by now you’ve ordered that giant sandwich and purchased the chips, so we thought we’d do some heavy lifting and provide you with all the facts and details you’ll need in advance of Super Bowl XLVI.

This is your one-stop shop for everything about the game, from the teams’ histories to the national anthem to the ads to the halftime show to the food to David Tyree and much more.

Time: Sunday, February 5, 2012, the kickoff comes at 6:25 pm ET

Place: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana (The House That Peyton Built)

Network: NBC will air the 46th annual Super Bowl, which means a broadcast booth of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth. They are “the best on TV,” according to official play-by-play rater Faith Hill.

Faith Hill: Yes, she will be signing her ear-splitting NBC intro song “Waiting All Day fur Sunday Night,” the reworked version of Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You.” It would be fantastic if Hill disparaged President Obama with some Nazi analogy and got herself Hank Williams’d one of these days.

Internet: For the first time ever, the Super Bowl will be streamed online (first time legally, of course, not one of those channel surfing “I’m watching this from an Eastern European bootleg feed on my Mac, brahh” streams that have been available for years). The stream, also available on mobile devices, will reportedly include multiple camera angles, in-game highlights, and live stats.

Wagers: The line opened with the Patriots giving 3.5 points to the Giants; the over/under opened at 53 in most places. It looks like money’s coming in on the G-Men and the over — it’s either 2.5 or 3 now, and the O/U has climbed to 54.5 at many books. Fun fact about their last meeting: “The Giants 17-14 victory over the Patriots resulted in the state losing more than $2.5 million. It’s the only losing Super Bowl for sports books since the turn of the century,” according to the Las Vegas Sun.

Betting Men: Our NFL experts, who broke down the whole season start to finish, week in and week out, offer their advice on betting the game straight-up: Where to Put Your Money for Super Bowl XLVI. Spoiler alert — they both like the Giants (and both like ’em to win outright). Go read why.

Prop Bets: There’s another way to make money and keep yourself entertained. Our Vivek Ramgopal threw down his Super Bowl Prop Bet Bonanza, which urges you to bet these wacky wagers on the timing of the national anthem, what will happen at the Madonna halftime show, what color the Gatorade bath will be, the president’s pick, whether they’ll show the Brady Bundch, and much more. Classic stuff in here.

Ads: Every single commercial spot sold out by January 2, all with the average price of $3.5 million per 30-second ad (that’s by far the highest average rate ever paid). You’ll see the likes of Doritos, Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch (it purchased nine slots), General Motors, Bridgestone and other staples. Relativity Media will reportedly run four advertisements for Act of Valor. After Volkswagen released its beloved “The Force” commercial online early to huge critical acclaim, more companies have trotted out their ads early. We’ve seen the Ferris Bueller Honda CR-V ad, Jerry Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi-infused Acura ad, VW’s follow-up to last year’s success, Mean Joe Greene & Amy Sedaris!, and so many more. This Budweiser Canada ad will not run on TV in the United States, but it’s worth your time.

Does it take the fun out of waiting for the commercials, or does it not matter to you?

Halftime: It’ll be a Madonna medley for y’all — rumor has it this is the setlist: Her upcoming single “Gimme All Your Luvin’,” as well as “Ray Of Light,” “Vogue,” “Music,” “Holiday.” LMFAO is confirmed. M.I.A. and Micky Minaj have been rumored to appear. Of course, you can always flip over to Animal Planet for the Kitty Halftime Show during the Puppy Bowl. Or Lingerie Bowl IX!

National Anthem: Kelly Clarkson will sing the national anthem — the over/under is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 minute, 34 seconds (no word on whether there will be an over/under on Clarkson’s fluctuating weight). You can also probably bet on whether Clarkson will botch any lyrics, as Christina Aguilera did in her bad-but-not-the-worst-ever anthem last year.

Fun fact: This is the fourth time in five years an Idol contest will have sung the national anthem at the Super Bowl, joining Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Jordin Sparks.

Super Rematch: Déjà Blue: On Feb. 3, 2008, the underdog Giants beat the Patriots 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII in Arizona, dealing Bill Belichick’s squad its only loss in what could have been the first undefeated season since the 1972 Miami Dolphins. Plaxico Burress caught the game-winning touchdown before the whole shooting himself in the thigh episode. David Tyree made a miracle catch on a key 3rd and 5, the replay of which you may see upwards of 50 times in the pre-game show itself.

Super Rematch: Déjà Blue Part II: These two teams met in Foxborough, Massachusetts in November of this season, with Eli Manning orchestrating a last-minute, game-winning touchdown drive that culminated in a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jake Ballard. Manning was 20-39 with 250 yards and 2 TDs and 1 interception in the Giants’ 24-20 victory; Tom Brady was 28-49 with 342 yards and 2 TDs and 2 interceptions for the losing Patriots. That win moved the Giants to 6-2, the Pats to 5-3.

More on the Pats: That loss to the Giants was the Pats’ last defeat. Belichick’s team rallied to win their remaining 8 games, and the Pats finished with a 13-3 record, the AFC East title and the #1 seed in the AFC conference playoffs. The Pats had a bye and then destroyed the Denver Tebows in the divisional round before squeaking past the Baltimore Ravens on Cundiff’s shank. Brady this season threw for a career-high 5,246 yards and 39 TDs, while the unstoppable Rob Gronkowski set new tight-end records with 1,327 yards receiving and 17 and touchdown catches. WR Wes Welker and TE Aaron Hernandez will also play big roles in the passing game; BenJarvis Green-Ellis (best nickname ever: Law Firm) and diminutive Danny Woodhead will lead the New England ground attack.

More on the Giants: The Giants finished the season at 9-7, defeating the rival Dallas Cowboys late in the year to take control of the NFC East title. It’s the first time since 2008 that head coach Tom Coughlin, who much like 2007 was on the hot seat until a dynamic run, has led his team to the playoffs. The Giants dominated the 15-1 defending champion Green Bay Packers after beating the Atlanta Falcons in the Wild Card round. They beat the 13-3 San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

Eli Manning made the leap to “elite” status (Newt Gingrich would hate him) this season, throwing for a franchise-record 4,933 yards and 29 touchdowns. He has three great targets: Victor Cruz (82 passes for a franchise-record 1,536 yards), Hakeem Nicks (76 receptions, 1,192 yards, 7 touchdowns) and Mario Manningham (39 receptions and 523 yards in just 12 games). Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs have struggled to run the ball this season, though they did combine for more than 1,200 yards.

But the defense is the Giants’ biggest weapon. Led by freaks Jason Pierre-Paul (16.5 sacks) and Osi Umenyiora (12 sacks), as well as Chris Canty and Justin Tuck, the Giants will likely exert the same kind of defensive line pressure that led them to a Super Bowl XLII victory four years ago.

Story lines: This game is packed with great copy — in addition to the rematch of Super Bowl XLII and the rematch of this season’s game, it’s fitting that the Pats’ main rival for years has been the Colts (Lucas Oil Stadium is their home), Eli Manning’s going for his second ring in his brother’s house, and you’ll surely hear a whole lot about how Peyton Manning didn’t play any football this year.

How Not To Be “That Guy” at Your Super Bowl Party: ‘Nuff said right here

Wait, there’s still more to go — Click Page 2 below for the food, the patches, the ref crew, the history of the game, tickets and a ridiculous post-script about hero David Tyree…

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